Wireless networking is a type of computer network that relies on wireless communication and data transfers between the network’s nodes. This networking approach is ideal for companies where devices enter and exit the network frequently.
Wireless networking can use various technologies to connect devices, such as cellular, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth.
See below to learn all about the global wireless networking market:
Wireless Networking Market
The wireless networking market was estimated to be valued at $57.3 billion in 2020. It’s projected to maintain a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.8% over the analysis period from 2020 to 2027, reaching $132.9 billion by the end of it.
The cellular segment of the market is expected to maintain a CAGR of 13.7% during the same analysis period, reaching $49.7 billion by the end of it. The low-power wide area network (LPWAN) segment of the market is projected to follow a 13% CAGR over the analysis period.
Regionally, the global wireless networking market is segmented as follows:
- The U.S. market was estimated at $16.9 billion in 2020, with a 29.4% share
- The Chinese market is forecast for a CAGR of 12.2%, reaching $23.1 billion by 2027
- Japan and Canada are forecast to grow at a CAGR of 11.3% and 10.8% over the forecast period
- Within Europe, Germany is projected to maintain one of the highest CAGRs at 9.2%
- The Asia-Pacific segment, led by Australia, South Korea, and India, is forecast to reach $15.7 billion by 2027
By industry, the consumer electronic sector is driving demand in the market.
Other notable industries driving demand include:
- Health care
- Aerospace and defense
Wireless Networking Features
Wireless networking describes any devices not connected by cables or wires. They differ greatly in size, from covering whole buildings to broad geographical areas.
A wireless network requires three typical components:
1. Wireless access point: Also known as Wireless AP, it’s the networking hardware that adds wireless capability to the network, whether it’s through Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or another signal.
2. Wireless controller: It is responsible for monitoring and managing the wireless access points, determining which devices get access to the network architecture.
3. Power over Ethernet switch: Provides power and communication capabilities to the network, enabling the edge devices to connect wirelessly.
The wireless connection can be established through a variety of communication methods and protocols, from Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to NFC, LTE, and satellite services.
Categorized by size, there are four typical types of wireless networks:
Wireless Local Area Network
Wireless local area networks (WLANs) are networks of two or more devices, often used in small offices and homes. WLANs cover a relatively small area and enable the network users to move around in the coverage area without losing network access.
Wireless Metropolitan Area Network
Wireless metropolitan area networks (WMANs) are networks that span greater than 100 meters in coverage. They’re most commonly used to provide coverage for metropolitan areas and residential blocks, such as phone services.
Wireless Personal Area Network
Wireless personal area networks (WPANs) are limited in coverage area and connect an individual’s personal smart devices within their home or work area. Instead of a central transmission hub, in WPANs, all devices communicate directly with one another, often using Bluetooth and ZigBee protocols.
Wireless Wide Area Network
Wireless wide area networks (WWANs) connect multiple LAN architectures, wireless or not, broadcasting the signal over an entire building or property. WWANs are capable of connecting hundreds of portable and stationary devices simultaneously as long as they’re in range.
Custom Wireless Network Design
Wireless networks, especially at corporations with high mobility, enable freedom and convenience for employees and visitors. Since the circumstances and needs of every organization differ, wireless network design needs to fit each situation. Otherwise, it could pose a security risk, while remaining inefficient and low performing.
Wireless deployment can be challenging, but designing a wireless networking architecture to suit a company’s particular needs is the best way to minimize hardships moving forward.
“It is important to segregate wireless networks based on the type of users, such as guests, corporate users, or those using point-of-sale (POS) devices. … Providing wireless connections to the visitors or customers at a retail location is becoming common practice for many organizations,” says Anshuman Awasthi, a member of the Forbes Technology Council.
“Corporate Wi-Fi is often the most heavily used wireless network in an enterprise. It is important to make it secure — but at the same time, easily accessible.”
Benefits of Wireless Networking
Wireless networking solutions are widely adopted by companies looking for networking efficiency and convenience.
These are a some of the notable benefits of wireless networking:
- Minimizes physical barriers
- Enables device mobility
- Reduces costs of physical cables and connectors
- Improves network accessibility
- Wide range of coverage
- Easily scalable through signal repeaters
- Improves network communication capabilities
“5G wireless WAN brings diversity, agility, and flexibility to allow sites and devices to be easily connected. Enterprises should jump on the 5G bandwagon to fully realize the benefits of SD-WAN and SASE for their businesses,” says Ritesh Mukherjee, a member of the Forbes Technology Council.
“Enterprises can use wireless connections for out-of-band management during failures, because OOBM provides remote access if a site needs troubleshooting, without depending on the traditional wired connection.”
Wireless Network Use Cases
Wireless networking solutions are used by organizations in different industries, with an architecture that suits their size and needs:
Beyersdorf Dienstleistungen is a company offering cleaning services for glass, carpets, and furniture for businesses. Based in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, Beyersdorf has over 1,300 employees at six branches across the country.
For years, each branch of Beyersdorf had its own separate IT hardware and infrastructure from its vendor of choice. While that allowed for more autonomy, it also caused major issues for the IT teams.
Starting the shift of hardware from various vendors to Cisco, the Beyersdorf IT team gradually unified the company’s infrastructure and switches. They switched to Cisco Meraki, rolling out wireless LAN for all company branches.
“We began a complete overhaul with Cisco Meraki, rolling out wireless LAN for all of our branches. From the beginning, it was clear how much easier things were going to be,” says Edward Darkwa, CIO, Beyersdorf Dienstleistungen.
“We started to receive notifications for devices that were on the network, and it was much easier to keep track of switches or access points if they went offline.”
With access to numerous networking solutions by Cisco, Beyersdorf gained more control over its network and improved its security.
Queen Elizabeth Institute
Queen Elizabeth Institute (KEI) is a rehabilitation hospital based in Oostduinkerke, Belgium that provides specialized services to over 1,400 patients daily.
With hundreds of physicians, therapists, and staff members, they had to constantly connect and disconnect medical devices to computers for use. Looking to switch to Wi-Fi-enabled devices, KEI used Juniper Networks.
KEI deployed the Juniper Mist wireless network with high-performance Wi-Fi 6 throughout the hospital and its surrounding property, saving the institution time and money.
“With Juniper Mist, we can see the Wi-Fi problems ourselves, instead of waiting for staff to tell us. … We spend less time troubleshooting and that frees up our time for more strategic projects,” says Stefaan Dewul, IT architect, KEI.
“With Juniper driven by Mist AI, we’ve gone from a vintage car to an Aston Martin.”
Lincoln University in Chester County, Pennsylvania spans over 46 buildings, 500 faculty and staff members, and over 2,000 students.
Caught off guard by the need to switch to remote education, Lincoln University was looking to upgrade its infrastructure to a more scalable and stable solution with a wider range and centralized management.
Working with Extreme Networks, Lincoln University opted to deploy a wireless networking solution, using the ExtremeCloud IQ wireless network management solution with Wi-Fi 6 access throughout its campuses.
“The overall experience with Extreme Networks and Howard Technology Solutions has been phenomenal. couldn’t ask for more,” says Justin McKenzie, CIO, Lincoln University.
“Extreme Networks allowed us to deliver this more easily once we migrated from our existing high-maintenance on-premises solution to the new infrastructure that can be managed remotely.”
Working with Extreme Networks, Lincoln University was able to improve the performance of its Wi-Fi network by adopting Wi-Fi 6, increase visibility into the infrastructure, and simplify the network’s maintenance and management.
Wireless Networking Providers
Some of the leading providers of wireless networking solutions and services in the market include:
- Marvell Technology
- Nexcom International
- Skyworks Solutions
- Texas Instruments